Photos in top banner: Zoe (Regina's grandneice) takes her parents to Sesame Place; Ryan (Regina's grandson) after a hot tub session; Lillian (Jessica's daughter) getting her face painted.
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Regina McNamara RN, MSN President & Kelly McNamara, Chief Operating Officer
Here at Always There Home Care, we are grateful you are slowing down to read our newsletter full of items that relate to home care, home health care, aging and eldercare, as well as some useful tips for daily living. Please enjoy in the spirit of community and cooperation in which this newsletter was sent.
Also, see our beautiful new video,
"He Sleeps All Day!"
Dementia By Day: A Blog By Rachael Wonderlin
Most people with dementia, especially in later stages, will sleep all day if you let them.
A lot of caregivers come to me with the same problem. "I don't know what to do! He/she sleeps all day. Is that normal?"
It's normal, if you let it be normal. Most people with dementia will err on the side of sleep if they're given the opportunity. What I've found, honestly, is that if people are bored (and, especially, depressed) they will sleep.
My advice is always the same: stop putting your loved one in front of the television all day and find something for them to do!
Here are a few simple ideas that you can try immediately. They all revolve around the same concept: asking your loved one "for help" (even when you don't need it)
Ask them "for help" to:
- Fold towels
- Clean off the table and set up for a meal
- Bake something
- Match up socks
- Read the newspaper aloud to you (maybe your eyes are "too tired" to read)
- Come up with some new recipes
- Show you the best way to garden
- Help you label old photographs
I wrote that list in about 30 seconds. There are a ton of things that you can get your loved one with dementia to do that don't involve sleeping.
Now, this all works great...unless your loved one is in a particularly late stage of dementia. People in end stages of dementia will sleep no matter what kind of activity goes on around them. That is the body's way of slowly turning off. It's hard to watch, but it IS normal.
If your loved one is NOT in an end-stage of dementia, though, they should only be taking small naps throughout the day, not sleeping the whole way through it. Small naps are normal, and many older adults, even those without dementia, will do this as part of the aging process. What we don't want to reinforce as normal, though, is the act of sleeping all day. ■
Doubters are protectors and preventers. You don't have to face big challenges if you've already concluded you're incapable.
Self-doubt prevents imagined failure. When self-doubt rules, a dissatisfying present is better than the imagined pain of failure.
Self-doubt justifies a dissatisfying present.
5 powerful ways to answer self-doubt and step into your greatness:
#1. Be transparent with self-doubt.
"Being real is the first step to being great." Lolly Daskal, The Leadership Gap.
Lolly writes, "Most of the people you work with doubt themselves."
Tell someone you trust that you doubt yourself. You don't have to tell everyone. You must tell a friend, colleague, adviser, or coach.
Confidence never results from lying to yourself.
#2. See advantages in self-doubt.
You're out of touch with yourself and reality if you don't have some self-doubt. Self-doubt - in small doses - is an advantage that:
1. Invites self-reflection.
2. Encourages vigilance.
3. Increases urgency.
By Kelly McNamara
Dora Oduro: Dora is one of our unsung heroes. She has been with us of over two years and has recently added her wonderful husband Benjamin to our caregiver team. Dora is simply ALWAYS reliable, ALWAYS consistent, and ALWAYS available to help out. Blizzards never keep her from her clients. Her commitment to her clients especially her now full time Client JB is legendary. When asked if she could help out by taking on an additional shift for another client , she misinterpreted the request to mean that she would need to leave JB's care, to which she replied OH NO.. I could NEVER leave him!
She has been a consistent caregiver for JB for nearly a year, once she finished with a special client on hospice. She is the lead caregiver on this case, orienting new staff and always available as a resource.
Dora juggles her dedicated work with us with caring for her two young daughters.
We are so very grateful for her kind, professional and reliable care. We just somehow lose sight of how very lucky we (and JB) are to have her in our lives.
Thank you Dora for all you do everyday!!
All caregivers mentioned in this column will receive a gift card and our sincere appreciation! Many many thanks to all of you for once again extending yourselves to ensure that we are of course
Alan Weiss on distracted driving
I saw a woman in the lane next to me texting as she drove at about 45 MPH. I was behind her at first and watched her driving on the shoulder and at erratic speeds. I didn't want to be behind her and, as I passed, I saw what she was doing. I'm sure she felt she was so adept that she could multi-task like that. I don't object to her being personally foolhardy, but I do object to the crass indifference that could harm and maim others.
Last week a US Navy destroyer, the Fitzgerald, collided with a huge container ship off the coast of Japan. I don't know whose fault it was-it was certainly someone's-but I do know that both ships had millions of dollars of sophisticated computers, well-trained officers and sailors, and collision avoidance warnings, not to mention radios, radar, and so forth. The destroyer is desgined to operate in open warfare and avoid being damaged. Yet, on a clear early morning in calm seas, seven sailors died.
If the investment and talent in these modern vessels are subject to catastropic accident when everyone is presumably paying attention, what happens when a 20-year-old in a car decides to chat with a friend about a boyfriend or club surrounded by traffic?
Here's the next investment: Software that prohibits phone use except for 911 while an engine is turned on. If my iPhone can track airplanes, it can certainly do that. ■
A STRANGE DOG
Strange Dog Keeps Coming Over To Nap At Her House. Then She Finds This Note On His Collar
One woman got very curious when a strange dog kept wandering into her house each day just to take a nap. He wandered into her yard one day and, after she gave him a few pats on his head, followed her into her house and curled up in the corner to sleep.
The next day he came back, and he continued to follow this routine for weeks.
The woman was confused. The dog was wearing a collar and was obviously well-fed and taken care of, so she couldn't understand why he was coming over to sleep at her house each day.
After weeks of this curious behavior, the woman decided to pin a note on his collar to see if she could figure out what was going on.
"I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is," she wrote, "and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap."
The next day when the dog arrived for his daily nap he had a different note attached to his collar, and suddenly everything made sense:
"He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3. He's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?"
How to stop quizzing people with dementia
in 5 steps
Dementia By Day: A Blog By Rachael Wonderlin
You know what it means to "quiz" someone with dementia, even if you don't call it that. Quizzing means that you try to get your loved one with dementia to tell you something that you already know, or that you try to get them to remember something.
Here are 5 steps to get you out of the bad habit of quizzing:
1. Take the word "remember" out of your vocabulary. Unless you're referring to something that happened years ago, such as, "Do you remember what your first date with dad was like?" Don't use the word. People with dementia have poor short-term memories. It's not fair to try and force them to remember.
2. Understand that, in many types of dementia, the new information doesn't even get stored in the person's brain. So, when you're asking someone to recall information, recognize that it may not even be available. Sometimes when it does get stored, the person will have trouble retrieving it. Dementia is a group of brain diseases, and, although these diseases can be frustrating, it's important to recognize that.
16 Things I Would Want If I Got Dementia is a list I wrote in December 2014 that picked up a lot of traction on the Internet. The post was originally publicized on Alzheimer's Reading Room. Want to re-post? Scroll down for information.
If I Get Dementia
1. If I get dementia, I want my friends and family to embrace
my reality. If I think my spouse is still alive, or if I think we're visiting my parents for dinner, let me believe those things. I'll be much happier for it.
2. If I get dementia, I don't want to be treated like a child. Talk to me like the adult that I am.
3. If I get dementia, I still want to enjoy the things that I've always enjoyed. Help me find a way to exercise, read, and visit with friends.
4. If I get dementia, ask me to tell you a story from my past.
5. If I get dementia, and I become agitated, take the time to figure out what is bothering me.
6. If I get dementia, treat me the way that you would want to be treated.
7. If I get dementia, make sure that there are plenty of snacks for me in the house. Even now if I don't eat I get angry, and if I have dementia, I may have trouble explaining what I need.
Providers We Love
We are privileged to have received referrals from and be able to coordinate care with many Assisted Living facilities, rehab facilities, and Medicare Home Care and Hospice agencies. Our growth is in large part due to the trust the staff in these organizations have put in our caregivers. We are likewise impressed with them and we are committed to referring to them on a regular basis
Masonicare Home Health and Hospice
Wallingford, Newtown, East Hartford, New Haven, Mystic
Masonicare provides comprehensive home health services to support aging gracefully at home. Their range of services includes skilled nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, wound care, telehelath, in home monitoring and complementary therapies. Their hospice program provides comfort to those near end of life allowing them to remain in their homes among family members. Across Connecticut, Masonicare is dedicated to providing excellent and compassionate care in any setting an elderly or disabled person and his/her loved ones call "home," be it a house, apartment, assisted living or nursing home community.
About Always There Home Care
Always There Home Care provides compassionate, dependable and professional one-on-one care for seniors who need assistance in the comfort of their homes or residential care communities. Services from highly qualified and trained caregivers range from companionship, meal preparation and incidental transportation to personal care, medication management and RN-directed case management. Available 7 days a week, services range from a few hours a day to 24-hour care.
Always There Home Care understands that every situation is unique and creates individualized care plans to help improve a client's quality of life.
Our caregivers are totally committed, highly qualified and carefully selected individuals who are personally and thoroughly screened, bonded and insured. Most are Certified Nurse Assistants or Home Health Aides. Most importantly our caregivers are dependable and extraordinarily caring of others. In addition to their previous experience, our caregivers receive continuous training that includes dementia, hospice care, home safety, nutrition and other topics related to seniors. These highly qualified and trained caregivers are ready to help you and your loved ones with a variety of daily activities such as:
Meal planning and preparation
Transportation to doctor appointments and other errands
/ Light housekeeping
Medication reminders /
Information and referral services
Our personalized, nurse- supervised services are available 7 days a week and
can range from a few hours a day to 24 hours and live in care.
For more information or service needs, call 24 hours a day at:
or visit www.AlwaysThereHomeCare-CT.com.
We are Always There!